Are There Open Container Laws for Marijuana in Colorado?

By November 18, 2016Thomas Law Firm

When you hear the words “open container laws,” the first thing you likely think of is alcohol. In Colorado, it’s a criminal offense to have an open container of alcohol readily accessible in your vehicle. But now that marijuana is legal in the state, Coloradans must take extra precautions regarding the drug. Open container laws apply for marijuana, too – and you should understand what constitutes an open container so you don’t get busted on your way home from the dispensary.

Colorado law considered an open marijuana container to be any receptacle or marijuana accessory that contains any amount of marijuana and:

  1. Is open or has a broken seal
  2. The contents of which are partially removed, or
  3. There is evidence that marijuana has been consumed inside a vehicle.

Now, we know what you’re saying: “any receptacle or marijuana accessory” sounds a little vague. Suppose you’re transporting a quarter ounce over to a friend’s house, and you decide to keep your product in a Ziploc bag, sealed up. Does that count as an open container? What about a Tupperware? Maybe you accidentally spill a little bit on the floor of the car, but you get most of it back into the container. Is that little bit of weed on the floor enough evidence that marijuana was consumed in the vehicle?

You’d be right – these laws are awfully vague. For that reason, we recommend you take some simple precautions to keep your hands clean.

  1. Do not allow anyone to smoke marijuana inside your vehicle. Not even while parked – you never know what little evidence might be left behind that police will try to get you for.
  2. Don’t keep your weed or paraphernalia in the passenger area of the car. No console, no glovebox, no back seat or under the seat. Put it in a sealed container in the trunk of your vehicle. If you don’t have a trunk, put it behind the last row of seats.

Our Denver drugged driving defense attorneys are ready to assist you if you are charged with marijuana-related crimes.

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